Jack Quann
Jack Quann

20.37 28 Apr 2021


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A commentator has suggested Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) is 'disintegrating' and caught in a time warp.

Joe Brolly was speaking after Arlene Foster announced she is stepping down as DUP leader and Northern Ireland's First Minister.

This followed calls within the party in recent days for a leadership contest.

She said she will step down as DUP leader on May 28th, and as Northern Ireland First Minister "at the end of June."

Mr Brolly told The Hard Shoulder the party has "stumbled from crisis to crisis".

"Eamonn McCann described them as 'the lost tribe' and they are caught in a time warp.

"And what's happening now is that they're disintegrating... I think it's a welcome process.

"Although I see with some trepidation that the favourite to take over as leader is Edwin Poots, who's a Seven Day Creationist, and who previously banned gay people from giving blood on the basis that that would be an abomination in the eyes of God.

"It's a cruel and inhumane party, and I don't think that anyone should think anything other than that."

And he suggested a middle-ground is being neglected in the region.

"We need to get past the DUP's noise to the big middle ground: there's a flourishing middle ground in Protestant Ulster, very well educated people.

"So you need to give us a chance - what's happening now is the Alliance Party is taking a lot of votes from the DUP."

He added that the younger generation there "are not interested in the old-style, Evangelical sort of homophobia that's espoused by the DUP.

"It's going to take time to sort of shed the DUP thing and get rid of that nonsense - and get on with the real business."

Asked what legacy Mrs Foster may leave, he said she may not have one.

"When you understand that the DUP is not so much a political party with any strategy as an emotion, and still very much Ian Paisley Senior's party, then it's difficult to see any legacy in that sense.

"There's been no real politics: don't forget the DUP was born out of Ian Paisley's reaction to the civil rights movement in the North.

"Ever since then, they've had the same sort of playbook - sectarianism, homophobia, creationism - all the things that we know about.

"The fact that Arlene's sin, what finally did for her [sic], was that she abstained when her party were voting against a motion to ban gay conversion therapy.

"It's scarcely believable that in this day and age a motion would have to be brought to a parliament in western Europe to ban gay conversion therapy - but Arlene's sin was to abstain on that motion".

Joe Brolly: The DUP is 'caught in a time warp and disintegrating'

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Main image: Former Gaelic football all-Ireland winner Joe Brolly is seen at Stormont in Belfast, Northern Ireland for a public consultation on organ donation in 2013. Picture by: Paul Faith/PA Archive/PA Images

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Arlene Foster DUP Democratic Unionist Party Edwin Poots Homophobia Ian Paisley Senior Joe Brolly Northern Ireland

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